This article will examine Jack the Ripper’s films and television series. Continue reading the conclusion for additional information.
About Jack the Ripper
For nearly a century, the terrible mythology of Jack the Ripper has persisted. In the 1800s, he prowled the streets of London and splattered them with the blood of brutally murdered women.
Since Jack the Ripper was never apprehended, it is possible that he is a woman, despite the fact that authorities of the time rarely accused women of such terrible murders. In addition to his choice of victim (female prostitutes) and method of murder, modern statistics also suggest that Jack the Ripper was likely a male, given only approximately 16% of serial killers are female.
Therefore, for the sake of likelihood, we will continue to refer to Jack as a male. From the killer’s untraceable messages to his brutal murders of prostitutes, this deadly enigma has enthralled many.
Jack’s hellish deeds are appropriate fodder for both horror films and true crime documentaries. Consequently, the mystery surrounding this British serial killer has predictably inspired numerous television programs and films.
Jack the Ripper’s narrative has so many unanswered questions that it is ripe for the picking in the entertainment business. The story of his ingenious killings will eternally haunt the public’s nightmares, notably through the immortalization of television series and films.
Top Films About Jack the Ripper
The Hands of the Ripper (1971)
Surprisingly, Hammer films never made a picture on Jack the Ripper in the traditional sense. This is as close as they got, with Jack the Ripper showing exclusively in the pre-credits sequence.
Angahard Rees (who sadly went away very lately) is fantastic as Jack’s daughter, who appears to have inherited her father’s deadly disposition. This culminates in a number of shockingly violent and horrible killings (the killing of the maid and the stabbing of Long Liz with the hatpins are particularly shocking).
Eric Porter portrays a Freudian psychoanalyst attempting to help her, who is hacked to death with a large sword. This is one of the finest recent Hammers due to its excellent cinematography and fantastic score.
In the same year, they also released “Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde,” which combined Dr. J with the murders of Burke and Hare and Jack the Ripper.
The Lodger – A Story of the London Fog (1927)
This was Alfred Hitchcock’s third picture, following two commercial flops. It is based on the short story by Marie Belloc Lownde about a strange lodger whose late-night comings and goings arouse the suspicions of his landlord and wife.
Is he the serial killer threatening London? When matinee idol Ivor Novello was cast as the title character, the story’s conclusion had to be altered! The Lodger’s innocence could not possibly have been questioned in the slightest.
The motif of an innocent man being falsely convicted of a crime would become a mainstay of Hitchcock’s later films, but it is introduced here for the first time. It is ironic that The Lodger is the only significant silent horror film to have originated in England. It was to be the beginning of the career of possibly the most famous director ever.
A Study in Terror (1965)
No one had previously considered pitting Conan Doyle’s fictitious detective against the world’s most notorious serial killer. The film, based on a story by Ellery Queen, is unusually well-made.
John Neville is a fantastic Holmes, ably helped by Donald Houston as Watson, while Robert Morley makes a fantastic appearance as Mycroft Holmes. Inspector Lestrade is played by Frank Finlay, a character he would reprise in the other Holmes/Ripper picture, “Murder By Decree.”
According to my knowledge, this is the first time the claim that Jack the Ripper was a member of the aristocracy was put forward. This film is a must-see for Ripperologists and Holmes lovers alike due to its amazing cast of outstanding actors, vibrant colours, and gripping plot.
Murder By Decree (1979)
Murder by Decree, directed by Bob Clark in 1978, is by far the most clever and enjoyable Sherlock Holmes film of the more than 140 produced. It is an intriguing proposition to combine Conan Doyle’s fictitious detective with the historical characters and events of the Autumn of Terror in 1888.
Murder by Decree differs from A Study in Terror in that it is heavily based on historical fact and pays special attention to the Ripper killings’ specifics. As any Ripperologist is aware, there are a hundred and one alleged explanations for Jack the Ripper’s identity.
Everyone has its flaws. The plot of Murder by Decree is based on the works of the late Stephen Knight. Knight’s main point was that the murders were the result of a Freemason conspiracy, which implied involvement at the highest levels of government and within the Royal Family.
In the real-world figure of Jack the Ripper, it appears that Holmes has a foe as devious and as intelligent as himself. It would be incorrect, however, to believe that Murder by Decree is only a film adaptation of Stephen Knight’s Jack the Ripper – The Final Solution, as the film is much more than that.
It combines Knight’s hypotheses, the Ripper murder facts, and Sherlock Holmes’ superior intelligence to create a fascinating and intriguing film. The film commences with the third murder committed by Jack the Ripper.
Jack the Ripper (1959)
I believe this to be my favourite Jack the Ripper film. I recall seeing it late on a Friday night on Tyne Tees as a child and being terrified. The story was written by Hammer’s own Jimmy Sangster and is partially based on the hypothesis proposed by one of the earliest Ripperologists, Leonard Matters, that Jack the Ripper was a doctor seeking vengeance for the death of his son, who caught a’social disease’ from a prostitute.
The film’s publicity effort was one of the most expensive ever, costing one million dollars, but it paid off as the picture became a massive success. Although, like many early Jack the Ripper films, it is historically inaccurate, it is a fast-paced thriller with an abundance of false leads.
The picture is presented in an atmospheric black-and-white, although earlier prints turned blood crimson when Jack the Ripper was killed. I recently discovered a French DVD edition at a reasonable price, but alas without the colour conclusion. “Are you Mary Clark?”